I am a Fulbright ETA from the United States and for my month-long internship I worked here at the Camillian Center. It was a great experience and I’d recommend it to anyone. Before coming here I had past experience working with individuals with disabilities, as well as teaching English in Thailand.
However, I hadn’t had the opportunity to experience the both of those combined in Thailand. For that reason I wasn’t sure what sure what to expect when I got here. Within my first few days I was happy to discover the amount of love and care that each staff has for the children. Moreover, I quickly realized that the love between the children seemed to parallel the love between siblings.
Whether it’s helping each other get from place to place, making sure that everyone has gotten a chance to try the kanome, or helping each other out with the answers in class (which sometimes wasn’t exactly what I wanted), it’s evident that there’s a bond between everyone here that really adds to the positive energy of Camillian. Furthermore, despite the number of volunteers that are always coming and going,
I was welcomed into this family on the first day without any regards to the fact that I was only going to be here a month. Since then I have experience nothing but the warm Thai hospitality that I have come to know and love. I was lucky to know a bit of Thai before coming here, but even then sometimes the language barrier was too much.
Despite this, most everyone still made an effort to communicate with me, whether it was by sharing a plate of food or just giving me a friendly smile. This warmth and openness really makes this place special and is something that I will miss when I leave in the days to come.
Dear next volunteer,
Welcome to Camillian! If you’re like me then maybe you have a few questions about what’s going on and what you’re supposed to be doing. I was lucky to have a week with the prior volunteer to show me the ropes, however, I know that for everyone that might not be the case. Therefore I thought I’d give you a hand with the teaching side of things at least.
When I first got here I was told to teach English, but was unsure of how much the children already knew and what kinds of things I should be reviewing with them. The lack of curriculum or cohesiveness concerned me, which is why I thought we should record what kind of things we’d been working on with the kids. This is particularly important because what I’ve discovered throughout my time teaching English is that repetition is extremely important and often the real learning happens through that. So if we can keep track of what the students have been working on, then the future volunteers will have some sort of outline of what things have been already taught, what to review, and perhaps where to begin.
Another recommendation is to ask about your teaching schedule on a day by day basis. I’ve found that things are pretty spontaneous here and often the schedule changes. So ask what you’ll teach tomorrow but if you get your schedule for next week, by the time it rolls around it probably will have changed. This helps but also have a few games and activities on hand for those spontaneous times when you’re told to teach and haven’t prepped anything. The kids and staff are really great here and I’m sure you’ll quickly get into the swing of things. Enjoy your time here and good luck!
Best, Madison Chicoine p.s. feel free to Facebook message me if you have any questions about anything